Issues with Netscape tables

alp0001
08-22-2002, 11:01 AM
http://petriea.tripod.com/PureE/test.htm

I'm having a problem with how the content looks in NS 4.x because of how the table is rendered. It looks fine in IE browsers. Any suggestions?

ChiefRedBull
08-22-2002, 01:24 PM
Personally, I try not to design to NS specifically. IMHO it's best to promote a single browser environment, or at least a single specification environment. At the moment, IE is winning on the design front, so I tend to stick with that. As long as NS can display enough of my page to say "Go and get IE!!" I'm happy. Just my two pence. :)

Cogen
08-22-2002, 01:41 PM
Sorry ChiefRedBull, but I totally disagree. In my opinion, part of being a good web developer is being able to create webpages that most of the public can view. If you had of said you don't want to develop for 640x480 resolution, or for text based browsers, then I might agree with you. But creating a webpage that 25-30% of the internet population can't view is simply bad site design (unless your making it specifically as an internal company site where you can force your employees to use IE). In my experience, users are more likely to search for a similar site then install software just to view one particular site.

Just my opinion.

Robby
08-22-2002, 02:56 PM
Why would they need to install IE Cogen, all Windows OS are shipped with IE?

The simplest way I found was to develop the good stuff for IE, then do a watered-down version for non-IE browsers. With a NOTE on the non-IE version to indicate "Better viewed on IE".

Cogen
08-22-2002, 03:32 PM
Your correct that IE ships with all Windows OS's Robby, but what I was referring to with that statement was ChiefRedBull's comment about "it's best to promote a single browser environment". What if the single browser environment you were promoting was netscape? And also, many people might have a new netscape version, but still only have IE 4.0 on their machine.

I just believe that it's good practice to develope for IE and Netscape. I've developed a bunch of sites for clients, and I can just imagine what they would say if I told them.. "sorry, you might lose some business because the site I created doesn't work in netscape." Actually I do know what they would say, because my last boss used to freak out when customers complained about browser issues between IE and Netscape (and I don't mean freak out on the customer, I mean freak out on the developers (including me)). You can break the rules for personal sites, but if someones paying you to make a site, 99% of the time they want it to work in IE and Netscape. ... am I rambling on .. sorry. :)

Robby
08-22-2002, 03:45 PM
I still agree with Chiefs' philosophy though.... Plus, I simply hate to aide in the survival of NS/AOL. :D

alp0001
08-22-2002, 09:22 PM
It is important to know that we (web developers for businesses) develop for the customers and not choose the latest and greatest software just because it is easier to create websites.

Maybe I can convince my customers to accept NS 6.x as the minimal version for Netscape.

I'm still wondering if anyone has a work-around for my problem though.

Robby
08-22-2002, 10:10 PM
Link to http://www.w3schools.com/site/site_validate.asp and validate your HTML, see what it comes up with.

alp0001
08-22-2002, 10:45 PM
Good suggestion...I will try it out.

bionicdonkey
08-23-2002, 02:15 AM
u could create a netscape specific stylesheet then create a script to detect the brower then load the appropriate style. worked for me.
Just a suggestion anyway.

Bionic Donkey

ChiefRedBull
08-23-2002, 07:26 AM
But creating a webpage that 25-30% of the internet populationI'd be interested to know where you got this figure from? For my personal site the logs reveal that less than 5% of my 30,000+ visitors use NS. IMHO this perfectly justifies concentrating development on IE and IE only.

IE is smaller, faster, more capable, and much more widely spread.. need I say more? Do you for instance make sure that your sites work with Opera, Lynx and the various other minor browsers? I know I don't...

I didn't mean a single browser environment as such, more a single standards environment. If we can get the powers that be to decide on a single standard and implement it properly, it will half the work for most web-developers (myself included). At the present moment, having to design and produce a site twice is just a pain in the bum.

I agree though - as a developer myself I find that I have to design for NS as well, for the customers sake, so yes, it is a good idea to ensure compatibility to some extent, and to make sure that it degrades gracefully rather than just not working at all.

:)

Robby
08-23-2002, 11:41 PM
Need I say more.....http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp

Derek Stone
08-24-2002, 02:25 PM
The total lack of support for standards in this thread is disgusting. You shouldn't be developing for IE, Netscape or any other browser for that matter. You should be developing to meet the current standards set by the W3C. Ignorant developers are the reason that Internet Explorer will maintain its place at the top, since webmasters are too lazy to validate their HTML, XHTML and XML.

Remember, information comes first and looks come last.

Robby
08-24-2002, 04:11 PM
CL, the problem is that Netscape does not conform to the standards.

Thinker
08-24-2002, 04:25 PM
I think CL might be pointing out that none of them really conform
to the standards (including IE).

Robby
08-24-2002, 04:35 PM
In that case, ok. But it seems that IE is respecting the standards much
more so then NS.

The funny thing is that a couple of years ago, NS president, during a press
confrence was lashing out at IE for not conforming to the standards.

Derek Stone
08-24-2002, 06:37 PM
None of them conform to the standards. That's the problem.

DrunkenHyena
08-24-2002, 09:03 PM
A few versions ago, IE was the least compliant browser around. They pushed proprietary extensions hard, and refused to support the standards. A lot has changed since then.

A review of the W3C standards shows a lot of room for IE and NS to improve.

Interestingly, IE recently dropped support for transparency in PNG files. You now have to use proprietary extensions to show them. Previous to 5.5, they worked fine though.

Both of them fail to completely support all the standards. Both of them insist on pushing proprietary standards to gain over the other.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the standard also leave a lot of room for interpretation, so what you might see as NS doing it wrong, is simply them interpreting the standard differently.

Robby
08-25-2002, 01:33 AM
Originally posted by DrunkenHyena
Another thing to keep in mind is that the standard also leave a lot of room for interpretation, so what you might see as NS doing it wrong, is simply them interpreting the standard differently.

True, I didn't consider that aspect.

Derek Stone
08-25-2002, 11:34 AM
HTML is way too easy to interpret, so I don't agree with that statement at all. The only interpretation I can see is the rendering of free-flow text and images, and even that is barely negotiable.

DrunkenHyena
08-25-2002, 12:20 PM
Originally posted by Crazed Lunatic
HTML is way too easy to interpret, so I don't agree with that statement at all. The only interpretation I can see is the rendering of free-flow text and images, and even that is barely negotiable.
Really, here's an example. Headings (H1 etc) are defined as:
<!ENTITY % heading "H1|H2|H3|H4|H5|H6">
<!--
There are six levels of headings from H1 (the most important)
to H6 (the least important).
-->
And further says:
There are six levels of headings in HTML with H1 as the most important and H6 as the least. Visual browsers usually render more important headings in larger fonts than less important ones.

While many people may rely on the fact that an H1 header is larger than say H6, the spec does NOT require this. It simply has to render it in a manner that implies that H1 is "more important" than H6.

There are a lot of others. The PRE tag does not require that whitespace be preserved, rather the browser is allowed to preserve it within a PRE tag, whereas outside of on it's not allowed to.

The EM & STRONG tags show emphasis and strong emphasis respectively. The are usually mapped to Italics and Bold, but it could be done entirely with font weights or colour, as long as EM shows emphasis over plain text and STRONG shows more emphasis than EM.

For the most part the W3C spec enforce syntax and format, not rendering style.

Derek Stone
08-25-2002, 08:51 PM
HTML is a presentation language, not a visual formatting model. A browser could display an H1 element with blue stripes and pink polkadots for all I care, but I better not see an H3 element that stands out more than it. I also better not see a table that extends outside the region of its parent table, yet I've seen Netscape and Opera render the mistake "perfectly". There is no excuse for this and the specifications are certainly not to blame.

See, this is the problem. People expect their pages to look good by utilizing only HTML. Guess what? It's not going to happen. The new generation of handheld devices and cellphones are perfect examples of browser enabled devices that simply can't handle advanced rendering techniques due to their size and processing power. This is the exact reason why the specifications are so relaxed when it comes to rendering certain, I repeat certain, elements.

Oh, and by the way, I said "easy to interpret", not "easy to render". I'd appreciate it if my words weren't twisted into something else next time.

DrunkenHyena
08-26-2002, 12:23 AM
Oh I understand why the spec is so vague on how things should be rendered. Lynx was my first browser. In addition, browsers designed for the blind are also supported by the spec. Enforcing strict visual interpretation would be quite a challenge for a browser that doesn't render anything.

I agree that the basic requirements to render a "sane" representation are there (nested elements must remain within their parents boundaries, etc). But the interactions between all of these elements, as well as meeting the defacto standards while maintaining internal consistency in rendering style, can be complex. You can of course argue that the browsers aren't require to do a lot of the complex things they do, and you'd be right. But no one would use IE if it looked like Lynx, though it could and be perfectly compliant.

Which means that as well-documented as some things are, it can still be a complex task. Graphical webbrowsers being a somewhat complex program are prone to having bugs. Not that buggy software is more acceptable than intentionally non-compliant software, but it is more understandable. The Opera team is apparently quite responsive to bug reports. For quite a while NS had serious issues with bugs, and support lagged for NS while Mozilla was being built. IE certainly has it's share of bugs as well.

Developers fighting against buggy platforms is nothing new. You develop your product as best you can, then test the hell out of it on as many platforms as you can. And if you find a problem, whether it's the browsers fault or not, you do what you can to "fix" it on your end.

I wouldn't say I "twisted" your words, I'd prefer to use a word like misinterpreted. But in keeping with the spirit of the thread, you may interpret it as you will. :)

Cogen
08-26-2002, 01:00 PM
Originally posted by ChiefRedBull
I'd be interested to know where you got this figure from? For my personal site the logs reveal that less than 5% of my 30,000+ visitors use NS.
:)

Actually Chief, I pulled that figure off a website about 2 years ago, and you would think I would understand how computers and software change extremely fast in this day and age, but I just took for granted that it would be accurate to about 5 percent (or 10% at the max). I'm a little shocked, but it appears by Robby's post that your figure (5%) was much more accurate.

Originally posted by ChiefRedBull
Do you for instance make sure that your sites work with Opera, Lynx and the various other minor browsers?

No I don't, but in 2 years of web developing, I have still not had one customer ask to make it work in any other browser but NS or IE. About 30% - 60% of my customers want it to work in NS though, even if they use IE.

Originally posted by ChiefRedBull
I agree though - as a developer myself I find that I have to design for NS as well, for the customers sake, so yes, it is a good idea to ensure compatibility to some extent, and to make sure that it degrades gracefully rather than just not working at all.
:)

Good point! I don't think there's anything wrong with putting bells and whistles for one browser even if it doesn't work in another, as long as it conforms to the standard and therefore is not completely broken in the other. :)

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